Babies that Regurgitate, Vomit or have Reflux


Updated article : October, 2023.


I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.


Regurgitation is an overflow, a spontaneous return of undigested and odourless milk that, usually, is brought back up in the hour after feeding. In terms of scientific knowledge in 2023, it is said that regurgitation is in fact a normal physiological reflux in infants linked to the immaturity of the sphincter at the entrance to the stomach.

This frequently occurs in babies that drink quickly without taking a break, or when moved after feeding, especially during the day when awake and very little at night when sleeping. Gastric emptying (of the stomach) would be slower in these babies or delayed and influenced by food (caloric density).

Regurgitation is diagnosed if milk is regurgitated twice or more a day for at least three or more weeks and there is no digested milk (vomiting), no blood nor associated breathing difficulty (aspiration).

The latest studies have shown that regurgitation is the most frequent symptom in young babies and that 40% still regurgitate at 3-4 months of age, but this percentage drops to 5% when the baby eats solid foods and walks.

Note that the baby can regurgitate up to the age of 12 months without having an impact on his weight or development. It is time that will improve the situation and no medication can prevent regurgitation.


Vomiting is an upbringing of partially digested milk. It has curdled and has a stronger smell. Spray vomiting frequently occurs in very young babies, once or twice a day, due to the immaturity of the sphincter, a muscle located at the entry of the stomach. However, spray vomiting after every feeding is abnormal in a young baby and can lead to dehydration, less urine, drying of the skin, irritability, drowsiness – in short symptoms of pyloric stenosis, an illness that requires emergency care.

In the first year of life, vomiting can also appear in babies, in connection with the start of solid food and the integration of different textures and chunks, but also during a cold, a prolonged period of fasting, a very present gag reflex or a delay in development. Behavioral vomiting, which is not a health problem, can also be observed if the child is unhappy and throws a tantrum.

There are many causes of vomiting, depending on the baby’s age and overall clinical picture. In the case of a young baby, one might think of possible intolerance, esophagitis (irritation due to acidity rising from the stomach into the esophagus), achalasia (difficulty in moving the esophagus in children) or other causes.


Reflux refers more to pathological regurgitation, that is to say, abnormal which causes inflammation which can lead to tissue damage. Reflux is seen in 5 to 9% of babies. When we talk about pathological regurgitation (reflux), the cause is also the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (entrance to the stomach), but there is a component related to slower and delayed gastric emptying. The baby may always swallow after feeding, or swallow even if nothing is in their mouth. Frequent discomfort when the baby is lying down, and they may cry more during the two hours following feeding because, rather than travelling to the intestine, their milk, mixed with an acidic digestive enzyme, moves up from the stomach to the esophagus, which becomes irritated. In contrast to vomiting, reflux is more regular: it occurs after almost all feedings.

Again, it is the time that makes the difference, when your baby will mature but, if the baby has reflux which affects his growth or which causes respiratory problems, esophagitis, difficulty in breastfeeding, treatment is possible in these conditions.

Reflux peaks around four months and gradually dissipates and disappears around 8-12 months.  As a reflex, babies will likely drink less per feeding, but more often to protect themselves from the pain and discomfort caused by the acidity that continually moves up from the stomach. When we look at family medical history, we often find parents or grandparents known to have been treated for reflux problems, even when adults. However, it is not a hereditary problem but more a family trait.

Reflux will not start at six months. If this seems to be happening, visit your doctor as it is symptomatic of other causes.

How can you comfort your baby? Here are a few ideas that can help.

Educational video from Marie

In resume

So, most of the time, there is nothing to worry about, parents! If your baby’s weight follows the normal growth curve, even if it regurgitates, vomits or has a reflux, it will not affect its development. It is a necessary passage, a transition.

The decision to consult a doctor comes to the experience and expectations of the parent(s), their perception of the symptom and their ability to cope with the symptom (their tolerance).

There is evidence that when parents understand the phenomen of reflux, and it is a question of maturity at the base, parents treat less their baby with medication.

Some babies who have less than expected normal growth could be hospitalized to be further investigated for their reflux through a test called “impedancemetry”. This test measure the resistance of certain biological tissues. A tube or a scope is installed in the baby’s stomach to measure the level of acidity and then provide the appropriate treatment.

To add to your preparation for birth and delivery, here are videos related to the adaptation to the arrival of a baby and to get to know them better :

Also read those tickets that are related to baby care :

Talk soon!

The Baby Expert

Discover our videos

Subscribe to a monthly or quarterly package now to access full videos.

Pelvic Floor

Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is usually forgotten during the preparation for childbirth. See why it’s important and how you can tone
Preparing your Stay in the Hospital

Preparing your Stay in the Hospital

Who will go with you to the hospital? What papers do you need to fill in before admission? What is
Evolution of Labour

Evolution of Labour

What conditions are necessary for natural childbirth? Marie talks about them in clear terms. You will then be able to
Analgesics and Anesthetics

Analgesics and Anesthetics

Are you giving birth in a hospital and would like to learn about the different ways to soothe pain? Marie

Discover other articles

How can I prepare for breastfeeding?

How can I prepare for breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding can be learned and developed over time. Here is some advice to make sure you have the best chances for success.
My daughter’s labia minora are stuck together.

My daughter’s labia minora are stuck together.

Yesterday I was scared when I saw my 8-month-old daughter’s labia minora were stuck together and closed. I ran to the emergency room and a
I have flat nipples and worried my baby won’t be able to breastfeed

I have flat nipples and worried my baby won’t be able to breastfeed

I have flat nipples, and I don’t know how my baby will be able to breastfeed when they are born in six months. Can I
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Read the first part of this article: Assisted Human Reproduction Techniques. Lisez la première partie de ce billet ici : La procréation médicalement assistée (PMA) - Les

Babies that Regurgitate, Vomit or have Reflux

Par Mélanie Loubier Temps de lecture: 4 min